Stephen Bannon

Bannon Ousted at Breitbart

Stephen Bannon is stepping down from his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News, the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Bannon’s departure, which was forced by a onetime financial patron, Rebekah Mercer, comes as Mr. Bannon remained unable to quell the furor over remarks attributed to him in a new book in which he questions President Trump’s mental fitness and disparages his elder son, Donald Trump Jr.”

Washington Post: “It leaves him with no evident platform to promote his views and no financial basis for his preferred candidates.”

A source close to the White House to Jonathan Swan: “God, I can’t believe the whole movement just collapsed on this guy. He’s done.”

Tapper Cuts Off Interview with Stephen Miller

White House adviser Stephen Miller went on CNN to rip Steve Bannon, calling him “an angry, vindictive person” and his comments in Michael Wolff’s new book “grotesque.”

The interview quickly turned into a shouting match between Jake Tapper and Miller until Tapper abruptly ended the segment.

Said Tapper: “There’s one viewer that you care about right now. You’re being obsequious. You’re being a factotum in order to please him, OK? And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

Can Steve Bannon Bounce Back?

Josh Green: “What Bannon did by talking to Wolff for this book — and by extension, probably, talking to me for my book — is pour a can of gasoline over his head and light a match. Trump appears to have broken with him in a way that seems final and ultimate, even tagging him with a dreaded nickname, ‘Sloppy Steve,’ which I think we can all admit is pretty fantastic.”

“Bannon has been in the doghouse before and come back. I hear that he thinks he can come back from this, too. We’ll see; nothing’s ever quite impossible in Trump’s world. You can never say never.”

“As Bannon has told people in the past, Trump is entirely transactional. But if he loses his platform at Breitbart News, then it’s hard for me to see how he’ll be able to wield the kind of influence that I describe in “Devil’s Bargain,” and that he seemed to have regained after leaving the White House last year.”

Bannon Was Warned

Jonathan Swan: “Friends and allies of Steve Bannon had been warning him for weeks to lay off Jared Kushner — telling him that President Trump would turn against him if he kept publicly attacking the son-in-law.”

“What we’re hearing: Tommy Hicks, a Trump campaign fundraiser and the chairman of the favored pro-Trump outside group America First Policies, relayed a message from the White House to Bannon to ‘knock it the fuck off’ or else Trump would blow him up.”

“Some of Bannon’s closest allies are urging him to still issue such a statement and make peace with Trump and his family. Bannon is resisting. He’s quite like Trump in this respect: he views any apology or admission of error as a sign of weakness. But it may be the only way to preserve some sort of a political future for himself.”

Bannon May Be Ousted from Breitbart

President Trump’s growing feud with Steve Bannon is threatening the former White House strategist’s leadership of the conservative Breitbart News website and upending Bannon’s plans to wage “war” on party incumbents he deemed insufficiently loyal to the White House agenda, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Bannon’s longtime benefactors, billionaires Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, are actively distancing from him… They and other Breitbart News Network LLC board members on Thursday were debating whether to oust Mr. Bannon as chairman, with many supportive of the move.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post notes Rebekah Mercer issued a rare public statement: “My family and I have not communicated with Steve Bannon in many months and have provided no financial support to his political agenda, nor do we support his recent actions and statements.”

Bannon Praises Trump In First Comments Since Book

Stephen Bannon called President Trump “a great man” on his radio show late Wednesday night and said he supported him “day in and day out,” the Washington Post reports.

“It was the most direct reference in the program, otherwise devoted to immigration, to the explosive day that had just passed as a result of the release of some searing book excerpts that quoted Bannon.”

Mercer Pulls Away from Bannon

Washington Post: “Bannon has in recent weeks also alienated his main financial backer, Rebekah Mercer, after he told several other major conservative donors that he would be able to count on the Mercers’ financial support should he run for president, a person familiar with the conversations said.

“The person said Mercer now does not plan to financially support Bannon’s future projects — and that she was frustrated by his moves in Alabama and some of his comments in the news media that seemed to stoke unnecessary fights. A person close to Bannon said he was not running for president. Bannon and Mercer declined to comment through representatives.”

Mike Allen confirms Bannon has told friends he’d run for president in 2020 if Trump does not.

Bannon Called Trump a ‘Narcissist’ In Private Emails

“Steve Bannon privately expressed ambivalence about Donald Trump as a presidential candidate before taking over his campaign, calling Trump a ‘narcissist’ and stating that he didn’t care if Trump won,” according to emails obtained by BuzzFeed News.

“The email exchange, during Bannon’s first run as executive chairman of Breitbart News, is of fresh relevance after President Trump lambasted his former chief strategist.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“You realize where this is going. This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner… It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

— Stephen Bannon, quoted in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House on the Russian investigation.

Will Bannon Try to Bump Romney?

Callum Borchers: “The race to succeed Hatch in Utah could represent an irresistible challenge for Bannon, especially if Mitt Romney runs. As I have noted before, Romney and Breitbart News were very friendly in 2012, when the former Massachusetts governor was the GOP presidential nominee. But since Romney lost to Barack Obama — an event that roughly coincided with Bannon assuming control of Breitbart — Romney has become a symbol of the political establishment Breitbart reviles.”

Axios: Romney changes Twitter location to Utah.

Bannon Cuts Ties with Ryan Challenger

“Steve Bannon has cut ties with Paul Nehlen, the far-right activist who is challenging Paul Ryan for his congressional seat and who has received extremely favorable coverage from Breitbart in the past,” CNN reports.

Said one Bannon adviser: “Nehlen is dead to us.”

“Nehlen, who became a lightning rod for his anti-immigrant views, has escalated his rhetoric in recent days with a number of incendiary tweets.”